To know Alex Fink, even a bit, is to want to share his ideas, his spirit and his work – specifically his amazingly energetic podcast series. The challenge is to do justice to his work! So I’m just going to focus on the podcast – an exemplary application of a format with which I am enamored.
Alex Fink is a PhD student in Youth Studies at the University of Minnesota. His focus is on “methods of making research to document injustice and resistance available to young people to create social change.” My first brush with Alex’s thoughts was in notes re. social justice he posted on the Code for America/Open Twin Cities listserv.
Next I learned about his newish podcast venture, a one-person operation in which he explores the range of open information/data issues – “the political economy and ecology of data, including data collection, data use, data access/sharing, data economics, and the ideologies surrounding it.” In other words, Alex is actually putting a face on open data and open government.
To wit: The OK Cast (as in Open Knowledge) is a bi-weekly podcast, of which Alex serves as both host and editor. The growing list of podcast topics now includes sessions on global integrity, participatory politics, visualizing information, the possibilities and practice of open planning – and more.
Backing up the podcast is the OK Cast blog, presented “with the goal to explore, connect, use and inspire open knowledge projects around the world to develop the public commons, improve organization and government transparency and communication, and advocate for social justice and social activism.” It almost goes without saying that Alex is readily accessible on Twitter @TheOKCast
Make no small plans, is a motto that befits the work of Alex Fink. My hope is that those who care about open government, broadly defined, will check out the visually stimulating blog and the aurally enlightening podcasts that this one visionary is harnessing basic technology to share and to inspire others.